Lewes Local Connection Eligibility Test in the self-build and custom housebuilding register


Since 2016 the council has maintained a self-build and custom housebuilding register. This provides us with data to better understand the demand for this type of housing in the area and plan for future needs.

The Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (the Act) and planning practice guidance states that we can implement a local connection test. This would mean the register would include two separate parts:

  • Part 1: entries with a local connection
  • Part 2: entries with no local connection

The Act places a duty on the council to grant enough ‘development permissions of serviced plots of land’ to meet the demand shown in Part 1 of the Register (but not specifically for those on the register). The entries on Part 1 together with the entries on Part 2 give the council an indication of the overall interest in self-build.

This means, for example, in plan-making the starting point for establishing overall demand for self-build and custom housebuilding would be the number of registrants on Part 1 and Part 2 of the register. To ascertain the council’s duty, we need to know the number of entries with a local connection. Therefore, for the emerging Local Plan we need to know how many of the people registered have a local connection.

Why we are considering this proposal

When people currently join our self-build and custom housebuilding register, we ask about their local connection. As it stands these questions are not precise enough to justify setting up two separate parts of the register.

As of 31 September 2021, there were 329 entries in the register. This number could increase to over 1,000 entries before the emerging Local Plan is adopted. This number could be difficult to accommodate given the various constraints, including environmental designations across the district.

Introducing a local connection eligibility would enable us to prioritise meeting the housing needs of local people.

Proposed local connection eligibility test

We propose applying the Eligibility Criteria for Local Connection of Homes First (LDC). To be taken up on Part 1 of the Register you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Live in Lewes district as your only or principal home and have done so for the last two years.
  • Have lived in Lewes district as your only or principal home for a period of at least three consecutive years out of the last five years.
  • Be in permanent employment in Lewes district.
  • Need to move to Lewes district for work-related reasons. Read the work-relates qualifying criteria here.
  • Have close relatives who live in Lewes district as their only or principal home and have done for at least the last five years. Close relatives are ordinarily parents, adult children or siblings. Consideration may be given to other relatives if there is evidence they provide a substantial supporting role to the applicant.
  • If you have served in the Armed Forces within the previous 5 years you do not need a local connection for Part 1 of the Register.

 What will happen once the consultation closes?

The summary of responses to the consultation will be presented to Lewes District Council Cabinet, which will decide whether a local connection eligibility test should be introduced.

If the local connection eligibility test is adopted, all individuals and associations registered will be asked to re-register within four months. The original date of entrance on the register will be honoured.


Opened: 8th of October 2021,

Closes 19th of November 2021.


Respond by filling in the online questionnaire 

If you prefer you can also email your comments to the Planning Policy Team at ldf@lewes.gov.uk or post them to Planning Policy, Southover House
Southover Road, Lewes, BN7 1AB.

A word template for the response can be found downloaded here:

Download response template in word format.

You can also email the team to request the consultation information in a different language or format, such as hard copy.

For further information about how the council uses your information and your rights please read our privacy notice here.

If you have any questions or experience any difficulty in submitting your comments, please contact the Planning Policy Team, via email at ldf@lewes.gov.uk or by telephone on 01323 410000.


  • Opened
    8 Oct 2021 at 08:00
  • Closed
    19 Nov 2021 at 17:00